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RJ Leaver
Posts: 17
5+ posts
Joined: 4 years ago

The next big thing will be a geospatial renaissance.  You may prefer to call it a geospatial awakening, or revolution, or regeneration, or even a geospatial rebirth.  This will have everything to do with new technologies, and so much more.

Before I can help you discover this, we need to examine some cold hard facts in our history and go places where few have ventured to go before.  We need to get real, and identify the current reality.  Then we can begin to set the stage with meaningful solutions, rather than continue with our current land information systems, which are archaic and inefficient.

We need to understand the basic building block of the parcel fabric in any modern GIS system today is based upon the text written legal description.  Text based legal descriptions, which lawyers control, are archaic in light of modern graphics and all the technological advances experienced by the geospatial community.

There are about 3,300 counties in this nation, each inventing and developing its own unique land information system.  The decision makers on these county systems are elected politicians, and not geospatial professionals.  In 2 articles found within xyHt, John Paletiello documents what is going on nationally.  He entities one of his articles, “It’s Time Our Nation Wakes up!”  When grading 7 categories of geospatial activities, the US is ranked 15th behind other countries.  The US averages about a C grade, but when looking at the cadastre, that grade is D+.  How can this be with some of the greatest technological advances ever in the last 40 years?

Where is the plan to dramatically improve upon that grade of D+?  There is none.  There needs to be.  The threads that follow will show geospatial professionals what needs to happen, highlighting our glorious history going back 150 years, and refocusing on a dramatically different and far better future.

So do you like the idea of a geospatial renaissance?  What about an internal paradigm shift within the hearts and minds of the geospatial community of professionals?  And this internal paradigm shift will be even far greater than the external paradigm shift that we have seen in the last 40 years with new technologies.

It’s time for a grade A again!

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1 Reply
Frank Willis
Joined: 10 years ago

500+ posts
Posts: 774

 To RJ Leaver.....


No possession?

No intent?

Accretion?  Avulsion?

No natural hierarchy?

No interpretation of vague deeds?

Prorate all sections?  Decisions related to that?

Deed doesn't match reality?  How you gonna fix that?

I agree that the system is evolving, and it needs to.  But I disagree with GIS doing it. 

I also remain disappointed that NSPS doesn't get into this.

You can't grade a paper properly unless you truly understand the subject--or even write a test unless you understand the subject.


Posts: 2767
2,500+ posts
Joined: 9 years ago

Sounds expensive.

We have a county registry that has deeds back to the fire.  All are available online for the fee of a dollar per sheet that you print that you print.  They have not taken the profits to scan the probate records.

Our attorneys strictly adhere to the REBA 60 for research.  A standard ALTA should include substantial time to research where the attorneys fall short.


James Fleming
Posts: 5321
5,000+ posts
Joined: 10 years ago

A few random thoughts:

  • Who gets an "A" or an "F" in any grading system is less dependent on the person being graded than the person who sets the grading criteria.  I'll wager if we ranked the same nations cadastral systems with high marks for tradition, stability, continuity, and potential costs to establish and maintain, the current system in the U.S. would get an "A".  And that grade would be just as meaningless as the above referenced D+.
  • The number of American, uninvolved in the "geospatial" marketplace who woke up this morning and though "boy, I'd sure be willing to pay more property tax for a modernized land tenure system" is zero.
  • I've met John, I like John, but to paraphrase Upton Sinclair: When a man's financial interest is tied to lobbying government for funding new systems, it's hard for him to not see value in new systems."
  • We could certainly argue that a modernized cadastre would be a huge progress toward a more efficient system.  However, one could also make a decent argument that the blind, top down, drive for progress to more efficent systems is the bane of modernity. I'll put the local Amish farmer up against the Soviet style five year agricultural plan any day of the week.
  • Along the same lines, I've personally become so disenchanted that I only have one political maxim that I will stand up for; I will always defend the local, particular, existing, and yes, less efficient than it could be, over the call for an overarching, national, modern, progressive, efficient replacement. 
  • So...much like I've thrown away my noisy, unwieldy, efficient, time saving leaf blower in exchange for a rake, this "geospatial professional" will, regrettably, have to pass on the Brave New World of the upcoming geospatial renaissance. 
  • Now you [email protected]&n kids get off my lawn.  ?

Oscar with Calibration-Free Tilt Compensation - Tersus GNSS

holy cow
Posts: 16833
10,000+ posts
Joined: 10 years ago

No!  It's MY lawn.  You get off of it.

R.J. Schneider
Posts: 2314
1,000+ posts
Joined: 10 years ago

^^^^^When grazing rights ripen into title^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  Smile

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